THE FLEX DANCE PROGRAM BRINGS THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER WITH DANCE.
We provide free dance and mentoring sessions for youth in and out of detention centers.
Our mission is to foster positive growth among young people in difficult circumstances through dance and creative mentorship. By providing positive outlets for self-expression, Flex Dance Program teaches participants healthy solutions to avoid conflict and enable personal growth.
The Flex Dance Program employs renowned dancers from local communities to develop dance routines with our students, promoting self-esteem, cooperation, and communication.
We seek to transform physical energy into positive, non-verbal self-expression that offers an alternative to conflict. Creative development is a key component of the Flex Program. Artists instruct and perform as a company.
The Flex Dance Program promotes creativity and keeps our students engaged and socially aware. We provide them with a sense of pride and foster success during and after recreational periods.
Flex (Flexn) is a unique form of dance that originated on the streets of Brooklyn, New York in the 1990s. The Avantgarde art form is inspired by Dancehall and Bruk Up dance from Jamaica.
Elements of Flex dance incorporate waving, connecting, hat tricks, bone-breaking, and gliding. Flex dance is distinguished by its contortionist body movements, and it’s “no-rules”, narrative story-telling capabilities.
Because of the reactive nature of Flex, the dancer is often inspired by his immediate environment and is free to tell his or her own story, making for a very emotional performance.
Board of Directors
Dr. Rob Andrews, M.D.
Dr. Robert Andrews is the former Youth Psychologist at Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center. He is currently practicing at the Kirby State Forensic Hospital on Randall’s Island New York. A champion of child welfare - Dr. Andrews was an early supporter and funder for the Flex Dance Program.
Sandra Dee Cobb Cummings
The Flex House came naturally in the process. The need for a place where crips, bloods and just anyone can come in and feel as if they were at home with their family. All it took was the love of dance and two strong figures to keep it fun and safe where you could be yourself. My ex-husband Rocky and I were those figures. With Rocky being organized and me being the creative hand, we started a decade long tradition that over 100’s of teenagers would be at our home each and every Saturday, to drink, eat, and just be happy.
Ragnhild Bruland, Ph. D.
Ragnhild Bruland (Ragz) grew up in Norway where she studied psychology at the University of Oslo. She has a background in musical theater, dance and music and has worked as a teaching artist for many years. Ragz earned her PhD in psychology from the New School for Social Research in 2021. During her graduate studies in 2014, she decided to co-found the Flex Dance Program for youth in secure detention after being inspired by the art-form of flexing (flexn) and the work that was being done by artists in local communities. She strongly believes in the value of artistic expression and its positive effects on mental health.